When you spend close to $10 billion on the Large Hadron Collider, it’s nice if – every now and then – you can release a little good news into the world to justify the spend. The folks are CERN have done just that. Smashing.
Science is a lot about theorising (guessing) and then experimenting (blowing stuff up etc) to see if the guess was good.
It’s fundamental to humanity – and you can see it in every kid that picks up a couple of Lego bricks and begins building/banging/eating them.
Slightly more advanced than a toddler breaking stuff, we have the European Organisation for Nuclear Research – known by the obvious letters CERN. (Ed-The name CERN is derived from the acronym for the French Conseil Européen pour la Recherche Nucléaire, a provisional body founded in 1952 with the mandate of establishing a world-class fundamental physics research organization in Europe.)
They have just scored another success in the search for differences in behaviour between matter and anti-matter particles.
Those differences could be used to explain why a universe that (theoretically) started as a balanced amount of matter and anti-matter, now appears to be almost all matter.
Pierluigi Campana, who spends his time explaining complex stuff to regular folks, said of the LHC’s latest success, “The discovery of the asymmetric behaviour in the particle comes with a significance of more than 5 sigma, a result that was only possible thanks to the large amount of data provided by the LHC and to the LHCb detector’s particle identification capabilities. Experiments elsewhere have not been in a position to accumulate a large enough number”.
Now it’s easy to see why he’s the spokesperson – cos he makes it all seem so simple.
At a much lower level, CERN has discovered big differences in behaviour for a sub-atomic particle when encountered in its matter or anti-matter variants. This is about to kick off a storm of new research.
KitGuru says: It’s hard to see how any one of the discoveries from the LHC is significant, but you just know that when it comes to the end of its life – there will be a really cool 1 hour documentary on TV, showing just how significant the LHC was.
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